To my kids,
This morning one of you asked me why I was looking at you “that way.” At the time I blinked and quickly changed the subject to buses and library books and snow gear. Because I couldn’t explain to you in that moment what my glaze reflected.
I’ve seen Nana look at me the same way my whole life. It used to drive me mad. Until one day I saw you three the way she sees me, and I got it. Let me try to explain.
When I look at you like that it is truly a rush of every high and low I have encountered on this crazy journey called parenthood.
I feel deep worry. Worry that you will have no one to play with at recess. I worry that you will get hurt, get the flu, get some bad advice you decide to follow against your better judgement. Worry that you will soon be too big to want hugs after school and lunch box notes (because honestly one of you already accuses me of constantly embarrassing him).
I worry that you will grow up to be just like me. Or that you will grow up to be nothing like me.
When I look at you I feel immense wonder. It still baffles me how you could be so smart, so fierce, so funny. How I could have any responsibility at all for making you exist. I didn’t do much, but there were quite a few sleepless nights, and a long stretch of sushi-less and wine-free celebrations. So much wonder. How you could be so wonderful when I have been so confused over what I am supposed to be doing?
When I look at you I feel a wave of calm wash over me. As if for that second, all is right in the world. Of course there are massive heart wrenching problems going on all around, but for that moment I am just seeing you. And knowing how wonderful you are, despite how much I worry, brings me peace.
I used to worry that my legacy would only be my children. It felt like I was letting myself down. That I was meant for bigger things than motherhood. Now I couldn’t be prouder.
And for that I feel grateful and unabashedly in love.
That is why I am looking at you that way.